By Tom

Becoming a Better Writer

I try to keep the focus of this blog limited to writing about code, WordPress, software, and business.

Every now and then I’ll come across a resource I find so useful, I end up reusing or re-reading several times to try to figure out how to incorporate it into my day-to-day work. Usually, this has to do with some type of app of programming technique (and this likely similar to something you do, too).

In this case, I’m talking about writing.

Becoming a Better Writer

This article via Help Scout has been making the rounds for a few weeks now – and with good reason – it’s gives practical tips on what you can do to work on becoming a better writer so others have an easier time reading your work.

The main points covered in the article are as follows:

  • Strip Away The Essential
  • Don’t Write Words, Write “Music”
  • Take Inspiration from Timeless Style
  • Be More Than Clear: Be Vivid
  • Each of these points are expanded upon in the article, and though I don’t think every one of them is something that’s applicable to a technical blog as a whole, it can help improve the overall content of a single post (and each post composes a blog, right?)

    How This Applies

    The more I’ve read this article, the more I’ve taken some of its points to heart, so I’m going to work on becoming a better writer based on the tips in the article. In short:

    • Some of my posts are too long – or too verbose – I want to work on writing shorter, clearer articles to save reader’s time.
    • The language around technical posts can often be dry. I want to liven it up without doing a poor job of explaining what’s going on in the code.
    • I want to continue removing unnecessary words. I attempt to do this now, but I can do better.

    Ultimately, I want to continue to improve the quality of the writing on this blog, but it’s going to take time as I work diligently on implementing these changes.

    Over the next few weeks, some posts may continue to be longer than others, but perhaps you’ll begin to notice a different pace at which individual posts read. If so, then chalk it up to this particular article.

    Any Advice?

    Though the referenced article packs a lot of information and has been really insightful, I know there are more things we all know we can do to improve our writing. For example, I know we should try to reduce the use of the word “that” in our writing.

    We all have these little tips.

    I’d be missing out if I didn’t end this post asking you:

    What are things you’ve learned over the years to write better?

    Let me know in the comments. I’m listening because I want to be writing and I want to be writing for those of you who are reading this writing.

    On Becoming a Better Writer was written by Tom. For more information about WordPress, development, and resources then visit Tom McFarlin’s blog.

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